Jan. 25, 2009
The UCLA women's volleyball team handed out its team awards at its annual banquet on Sunday. Senior Nellie Spicer earned Best Setter and Most Valuable Player honors, while senior Jessica Fine, sophomore Jazmin Machado and freshman Amanda Gil also took home multiple awards.
Spicer became just the third Bruin to receive three first-team All-American honors. The four-time All-Pacific-10 Conference first team and three-time All-Pacific Region first team honoree led the Bruins with 10.77 assists per set, which also placed her fourth in the Pac-10 and 43rd in the nation. She was also first on the team with 17 double-doubles and third with 2.45 digs per set. Spicer concluded her illustrious career second all-time at UCLA in assists (6,000) and third in digs (1,299).
Fine was named Best Passer and Best Digger after leading the Bruins in digs per set at 4.84. Her total also ranked her third in the Pac-10 and 36th in the country. She posted 27 double-figure digs contests, surpassing the 20-dig plateau 15 times. Fine's 590 digs were the second-best, single-season total in school history. She also placed second on UCLA's single-season list for digs per set and was 13th all-time with 1,105 digs. Fine joined Spicer as an All-American, earning third-team honors.
Machado earned a pair of awards, receiving highest in-season grade point average and Best Server honors. On the court, the sophomore led the Bruins in service aces per game (0.23) and was ninth among Pac-10 players. In the classroom, Machado was named to the Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic First Team.
Gil received a trio of honors, being named Best Blocker, Best Hitter and Top Newcomer. Gil was named Pacific Region and Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, finishing first on the team, second in the league and sixth in the nation in blocks per set at 1.46. She had a team-best 19 matches with at least five blocks. Gil, who was also named honorable mention All-Pac-10, was first on the team in hitting percentage (.327) and sixth in the conference.
Freshman Sara Sage earned Most Improved Player honors. She earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 Freshman Team accolades, averaging 1.31 kills per set and 0.79 blocks per set in her first season as a Bruin. Sage started the last 16 matches of the season, producing at least five kills in 10 of those starts.